YMCA acquires Sandpoint West Athletic Club

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

The biggest name in community-centered health is coming to Sandpoint.

Officials recently confirmed that the YMCA intends to acquire the Sandpoint West Athletic Club. While the details are still being hashed out, the organization intends to complete to acquisition by early December. Steve Tammaro, president and CEO of YMCA of the Inland Northwest, assures SWAC members that there will be no interruption of service during the transition period.

“Bringing a YMCA to Sandpoint fulfills a long-term goal to enhance youth development and healthy living programs here,” said Kendon Perry of Farm Bureau Financial Services and YMCA Sandpoint Advisory Board chair. “We are excited to be able to provide the community with chronic disease prevention programs, a summer meals program, in addition to a sliding fee scale for membership based on household income.”

Don and Sue Helander, SWAC’s owners, see the fitness club’s transition into a YMCA as the ideal way to ensure its values persist in its next chapter. Given SWAC’s longstanding tradition of opening its doors for community events like summer camps and children’s activities, they believe the YMCA’s reputation, built over a century and a half of work, allows for a seamless transition.

“When the YMCA approached us, we saw a perfect opportunity to continue the same values and commitment to the community we have built with our members over the years,” they said in a statement.   

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